By Sharon Hassler—In the past few years, we’ve heard from many members that their loan signing business has dried up and they’re giving up and looking for regular employment. What does that mean for you? Less competition if you can hang on. There has been a shake up among signing agents just as there was among loan originators and real estate agents. Those who jumped in early when real estate-related work was falling in their laps aren’t prepared to generate new business on their own. Those who have been around longer understand real estate is cyclical and know about the ups and downs. (The future of real estate looked pretty bleak back when mortgage interest rates reached 18%!) But how do you survive in the down times?
- Market your services with a vengeance. Mortgages are down but not completely out. In fact, some members have told us recently that their business is slightly lower but still steady. Contact lenders, title companies and signing companies and let them know you’re staying in the business and will still be available to do signings.
- Check out reverse mortgage signings. Reverse mortgages allow senior citizens to get paid for their home equity. This mortgage product hs becoming more popular as it becomes better understood. With more baby boomers becoming seniors, this area may show substantial growth in the coming years, too. Check out your library or other sources and become an expert. One book mentioned to us is Reverse Mortgages For Dummies.
- Look into non-loan signing notary services. There is life outside of loan document signings. Read the articles by Laura Vestanen in General Business or purchase her ebook, Marketing Your Non-Loan Signing Services (under $10) for more tips. If your state statues allow notaries or those ordained online to officiate at weddings, consider adding weddings to your services as described by Kelly Robertson in her wedding officiant article. Also, read Barbara Sonafelt’s recommendation about retirement homes, assisted living facilities, and hospitals.
- Learn more about non-notary work, such as field services. Many companies need someone to be their eyes and ears locally, doing on-site inspections, taking photos, serving as mystery shoppers, etc. (Mystery shopping may not pay much but you may earn free dinners, groceries or other products and services!) You can learn more about field services by doing a Google search or visiting:
- SOFI-USA.com – Society of Field Inspectors
- Mystery Shopping Providers Association
- Other Income – Watch for tips on multiple streams of income at the GoGetNotary.com.
You’re an entrepreneur so you know you have the drive and skills to continue your success. Look around, be open to new ideas and new streams of income, and you’ll turn this challenge into a triumph.